Cover photo for Robert Joseph Whelan's Obituary
Robert Joseph Whelan Profile Photo

Robert Joseph Whelan

June 15, 1939 — May 19, 2022

Robert Joseph Whelan, aged 82, of Hartland Wisconsin, shuffled off this mortal coil at 12:10 pm on Thursday, May 19, 2022. His last days were spent surrounded by family at Angel’s Grace Hospice in Oconomowoc, WI.

Bob was the second child of John Albert Whelan and Frances Angeline (née Ropiak) Whelan. He was educated in Catholic schools in Milwaukee, graduating in 1957 from Pius XI High School, where he led the basketball team as the starting center. He was inducted to the Pius XI High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017. He attended Xavier University, Marquette University, and universities in Mexico and Spain as a visiting student. He earned a Master’s in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Bob was a long-time educator, teaching Spanish at the high school and college levels, including in Milwaukee, Brookfield, Manitowoc, and Hubertus. During his 25 years at Brookfield Central High School, in addition to teaching, he coached tennis and advised the Spanish Honor Society and chess clubs and was the intramural director. After his retirement from teaching, he enjoyed a second career as a bartender, specializing in banquet work at the Embassy Suites and Olympia Hotel and Resort. Serving refreshments at special events afforded Bob the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, which always brought him joy. Another source of joy was his love of music: Bob played guitar and piano and had a beautiful singing voice.

Throughout his life, some of his favorite pastimes included playing basketball and tennis, finding bargains at rummage sales, making and discovering music, playing chess, and enjoying good food. He also loved traveling the Spanish-speaking world, especially Mexico and Costa Rica. He will be remembered for his generosity, gentleness, and light-hearted humor.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Christine Ann (née Poplawski) Whelan. He was the beloved father of Rebecca Jean (James Blakemore), Joshua “Josh” David (Catrina “Cat” Ahlbach), Jennifer “Jen” Christine (Rafael “Rafa” Cruz Hermoso), and Theodore “Ted” Robert (Faith Hess Whelan) and grandfather to Rowan, Nils, Arden, and Sofia. He is survived by his sister Lucille Charmaine Serwa (John Serwa), numerous nieces and nephews, and Stephen “Steve“ Roenneburg, his close friend of nearly 60 years.

He was preceded in death by his brother John August Whelan and their parents.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Hartland Area Food Pantry.

A celebration of Bob’s life will be held from 3-6 pm on Sunday, August 7, 2022 at Evert-Luko Funeral Home in Hartland.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Joseph Whelan, please visit our flower store.

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Sunday, August 7, 2022

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